Editor’s Note: About the Redesigned National Journal Magazine

National Journal
Richard Just
See more stories about...
Richard Just
June 18, 2014, 4 p.m.

Nation­al Journ­al magazine has a stor­ied his­tory, and if you live and breathe policy and polit­ics, then you know why. Scru­pu­lously non­par­tis­an, in­tel­lec­tu­ally hon­est, genu­inely ser­i­ous about gov­ern­ment and about ideas, Na­tion­al Journ­al has al­ways been a pub­lic­a­tion that every­one in D.C. could trust.

Those are the es­sen­tial val­ues that we wanted to take for­ward in­to the new Na­tion­al Journ­al. But we also knew that a lot about the magazine had to change. So many of the things that Na­tion­al Journ­al‘s print magazine was long known for are now be­ing done on our highly suc­cess­ful web­site — in great­er volume and with great­er speed than the magazine ever could have man­aged.

Yet we didn’t, and don’t, think the In­ter­net has made print ob­sol­ete. It has simply chal­lenged magazine ed­it­ors to ask them­selves: What is print still for?

(Harry Camp­bell)We’ve come up with a few an­swers to that ques­tion. A print magazine, we be­lieve, is for nar­rat­ive writ­ing that is beau­ti­fully craf­ted and deeply re­por­ted. It’s for journ­al­ism that takes big ideas ser­i­ously. It’s for long pieces that feel short be­cause they’re truly fun to read. It’s for telling stor­ies that are com­plic­ated and nu­anced — as al­most all stor­ies worth know­ing are. It’s for de­scrib­ing the char­ac­ters, fam­ous or un­known, who shape Amer­ic­an demo­cracy — and for un­der­stand­ing their agen­das, their mo­tiv­a­tions, their flaws, their strengths. It’s for pub­lish­ing es­tab­lished, bril­liant writers, and also for dis­cov­er­ing the next gen­er­a­tion of storytelling stars.

Fi­nally, we be­lieve that es­sen­tial to the ex­per­i­ence of read­ing a great print magazine is a beau­ti­ful design — el­eg­ant fonts, strik­ing il­lus­tra­tions, ex­cel­lent pho­to­graphy. Joseph Heroun bril­liantly re­con­ceived the magazine’s over­all look and cre­ated the stun­ning designs that fill the pages of our first is­sue. At the same time, we also wanted to re­ima­gine how we present our magazine pieces on­line. Jenny Mazer did a fant­ast­ic job of de­vis­ing an eye-catch­ing new di­git­al format for these pieces.

There are plenty of magazines that use the ap­proach to journ­al­ism we are now em­phas­iz­ing — that fo­cus on long-form writ­ing and great storytelling and out­stand­ing art. But there are no magazines that use this ap­proach to re­lent­lessly fo­cus on the world of policy and polit­ics — and that are broadly trus­ted across the polit­ic­al spec­trum. That is the kind of pub­lic­a­tion we aim to pro­duce.

For our first is­sue, we wanted to tell the stor­ies of some of the char­ac­ters and ideas that are likely to define the 2016 elec­tion. We hope you won’t miss any of these fea­ture pieces:

A Uni­fied The­ory of Hil­lary: To un­der­stand what kind of pres­id­ent she would be, con­sider that her greatest suc­cesses and worst fail­ures have the same ex­plan­a­tion. By Peter Bein­art

He Shall Not Be Moved: There’s no ob­vi­ous reas­on that Scott Walk­er should be pres­id­ent. And yet. By Tim Al­berta

“I’m Right and Every­body Else Is Wrong. Clear About That?” Bernie Sanders will likely rep­res­ent the hard-line Left in 2016. Will he help or hurt the move­ment? By Si­mon van Zuylen-Wood

Rand Paul’s New Con­fid­ant: Why the Ken­tucky sen­at­or and Nate Mor­ris be­came fast friends. By Shane Gold­mach­er

The Gonzo Op­tion: Bri­an Sch­weitzer is a one-man chal­lenge to the scrip­ted nature of mod­ern polit­ics. But just how much can you run your mouth while run­ning for pres­id­ent? By Mar­in Cogan

1952 All Over Again: It’s been more than six dec­ades since Re­pub­lic­an non­in­ter­ven­tion­ists were this in­flu­en­tial. They lost the battle to con­trol the party then — and chances are, they’re go­ing to lose this time, too. By Mi­chael Ger­son

In ad­di­tion, make sure to check out our short­er polit­ic­al nar­rat­ives, which we are fea­tur­ing in our new front-of-the-book sec­tion, The In­ner Loop:

The De­mise of Dixville Notch: And the un­cer­tain fu­ture of an odd polit­ic­al tra­di­tion. By Alex Seitz-Wald

The Biden Dyn­asty: What you can learn about Joe from get­ting to know Beau. By Nora Ca­plan-Brick­er

Why is Rick San­tor­um run­ning a movie stu­dio? By Kev­in Lin­coln

To pro­duce a ter­rif­ic magazine 32 times a year will be no easy task, but we are lucky to have some of the best magazine minds in the busi­ness steer­ing the ship — es­pe­cially our deputy ed­it­or, An­die Coller, and our man­aging ed­it­or, Aman­da Cormi­er. All of us are look­ing for­ward to cre­at­ing the new Na­tion­al Journ­al week after week for our mem­bers and sub­scribers. The magazine we are build­ing is one that we think Wash­ing­ton needs. More than any­thing, we hope it’s a magazine you en­joy.

Richard Just

Ed­it­or, Na­tion­al Journ­al magazine

What We're Following See More »
STAFF PICKS
When It Comes to Mining Asteroids, Technology Is Only the First Problem
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Obama Reflects on His Economic Record
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Reagan Families, Allies Lash Out at Will Ferrell
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Ronald Reagan's children and political allies took to the media and Twitter this week to chide funnyman Will Ferrell for his plans to play a dementia-addled Reagan in his second term in a new comedy entitled Reagan. In an open letter, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis tells Ferrell, who's also a producer on the movie, “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have—I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” Michael Reagan, the president's son, tweeted, "What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you." And former Rep. Joe Walsh called it an example of "Hollywood taking a shot at conservatives again."

Source:
PEAK CONFIDENCE
Clinton No Longer Running Primary Ads
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-ex­pec­ted primary battle be­hind her, former Sec­ret­ary of State Hil­lary Clin­ton (D) is no longer go­ing on the air in up­com­ing primary states. “Team Clin­ton hasn’t spent a single cent in … Cali­for­nia, In­di­ana, Ken­tucky, Ore­gon and West Vir­gin­ia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “cam­paign has spent a little more than $1 mil­lion in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone back­er in the Sen­ate, said the can­did­ate should end his pres­id­en­tial cam­paign if he’s los­ing to Hil­lary Clin­ton after the primary sea­son con­cludes in June, break­ing sharply with the can­did­ate who is vow­ing to take his in­sur­gent bid to the party con­ven­tion in Phil­adelphia.”

Source:
CITIZENS UNITED PT. 2?
Movie Based on ‘Clinton Cash’ to Debut at Cannes
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

The team behind the bestselling "Clinton Cash"—author Peter Schweizer and Breitbart's Stephen Bannon—is turning the book into a movie that will have its U.S. premiere just before the Democratic National Convention this summer. The film will get its global debut "next month in Cannes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival. (The movie is not a part of the festival, but will be shown at a screening arranged for distributors)." Bloomberg has a trailer up, pointing out that it's "less Ken Burns than Jerry Bruckheimer, featuring blood-drenched money, radical madrassas, and ominous footage of the Clintons."

Source:
×